- The man spent 64 days in a California hospital, where he suffered serious complications from the new coronavirus and had an amputation, a local outlet, KTLA, reported.
- Gregg Garfield became the first known coronavirus patient to be treated in Providence St. Joseph at a medical center in Burbank, California, after being infected with the virus in February.
- Released from the hospital in May, he was left without fingers in his right hand and most of him was not on his left.
- To learn more stories, visit the Insider website.
The man spent 64 days in a California hospital with a new coronavirus, experienced major complications, and underwent amputation.
Gregg Garfield was treated at Providence St. At the Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, after being infected with the virus during a ski trip in Italy in February, a local agency, KTLA, reported. According to the report, he was the first patient to be treated for COVID-19 at that hospital.
Garfield’s symptoms worsened quickly and he was placed on the fan for about a month, the report said. According to the KTLA, doctors gave him a 1% chance of living.
Garfield said he suffered from viral complications including MRSA, sepsis, kidney failure, liver failure, pulmonary embolism, and ruptured lungs. All fingers of the right hand and most of the left hand were amputated.
Garfield, who was released from the hospital and returned home on May 8, said his hands “will never be the same,” KTLA reported.
“I don’t have fingers anymore,” he added. “It could happen to you.”
Dr. David Kulber of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, KTLA, said Garfield’s fingers were amputated because of the way the virus affects patients’ bloodstream.
“COVID affects the endovascular circulation, so it actually affects the blood flow,” Kulber said. “That’s why some young people have had strokes, so anticoagulants – blood thinners applied to patients – have now become routine care for COVID patients.”
Health officials have found that excessive blood clotting is a major symptom of coronavirus infections. According to Business Insider’s Holly Secon, vascular complications have occurred in the legs, lungs, heart, brain, and skin of patients with coronavirus. Although doctors are still not sure how or why the virus causes excessive clotting, they want to treat these ailments with blood thinners and anticoagulants.
Kulber told KTLA that surgeons developed prostheses for fingers that would function “like a bionic arm.” The report says the process will require at least six operations.
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